Global tax rates are currently set at an artificially low level because thus far in the sovereign debt crisis governments have had the ability to borrow unlimited amounts of money to offset any size budget deficit. The secret to this? Central Banks have promised to purchase an unlimited amount of bonds in every major developed country to keep bond yields low.
This will change during the next phase of the sovereign debt crisis, most likely beginning with Japan as the world watches what happens when a central bank loses control.
When people connect the dots and extrapolate forward how Japan's disaster will unfold in their own country (see the United States, U.K. and members of the European Union), they will begin to look for better locations to earn their living, raise their children or grow their business. Government balance sheets will become an important part of that decision because they will allow people to forecast the potential loss of future wealth through currency devaluation or taxation (most likely both).
The U.S. is experiencing this on a state and local level as individuals and businesses in former bubble real estate markets (California, New Jersey, Florida) are now fleeing their area and heading for the excellent business climate found in Texas. Meredith Whitney's book Fate Of The States described how and why this process will unfold over the next decade. This movement will soon become a global phenomenon.